It's fair to say that the "consumerization of IT" began when Apple unveiled its iPhone four years ago. Suddenly executives could buy phones that were cooler than their CrackBerries. The trend built slowly and then exploded with Apple's release 13 months ago of the iPad tablet. That was the end of the Windows/BlackBerry grip on the enterprise, as chronicled in this Network World article. Eventually even the security-obsessed government sector had to cave, which was the topic of this article that ran in The Washington Post on Memorial Day:
The flashy consumer products that have been adopted in the corporate workforce — upending BlackBerrys for iPhones, Microsoft Outlook for Gmail, and lately laptops for iPads — are now invading the federal government. The State Department. The Army. The Department of Veterans Affairs. NASA. The General Services Administration is in the process of moving 17,000 employees onto Gmail.
The bright side for Microsoft and Research in Motion is that Michael Rosenwald's article ran on a holiday, when fewer people will read it. Unfortunately, that timing does little to offset the reality that their strangleholds on enterprises private and public are loosening, probably for good. Indeed, RIM allowing iPhones and Androids to connect through its BlackBerry Enterprise Server, a service it announced in early May, is a fairly blatant admission that its old days of enterprise mobile hegemony are over.
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